Saddiq Bey called game.
The Detroit Pistons once again wilted down the stretch, this time against the defending champion Golden State Warriors, and after Klay Thompson erased the Pistons lead, beating Saddiq Bey for a tying three with 2.1 seconds to play, it was up to the Pistons to answer.
And Bey was there to make amends, nailing a fall-away triple of his own at the buzzer to give the Pistons a 122-119 win in the wee hours of the morning on Thursday.
I was going to start this recap with a gushing review of Jalen Duren, and that’ll come later, but the Pistons really pulled this one out thanks to Bey. That comes after it looked like they had the game in hand with just over a minute to play.
Following a Killian Hayes’ miss, Isaiah Stewart untangled himself from Draymond Green down low to snag a clutch offensive rebound, flinging a pass outside to an open Bey who cashed in a three that gave the Pistons some needed breathing room.
Not only did it increase the to 117-112, but Stewart got Draymond so fired up after that he was hit with his second technical foul of the night, ending his night.
The Warriors didn’t quit, of course, as Klay scored seven points in that final minute to tie it.
I was going to call it the Jalen Duren Game, hopefully the first of many, because he was dominant for three quarters. He flashed the total package — dunks, rebounds, defense — as he compiled an 18-point, 10-rebound game, making all eight of his shots.
But as the second half wore on, Golden State took away a lot of what was working for him early. The Pistons had to adjust, and they actually did.
It helped that Bojan Bogdanovic was great. The veteran shooter actually made the IsoBojan stuff work late in the game and served as the safety valve on almost every trouble possession the Pistons had, finishing with 29 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds.
Jaden Ivey had an interesting night, doing a little bit of everything with 12 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists, but struggled with decision making both as a passer and shooter.
I think there are times where he doesn’t really feel like he has a role, where he needs to try to be more than he is, instead of just focusing on his aggressive abilities as a driver/scorer.
Tonight you saw the good and bad, but in the fourth quarter he really showed some flashes, mainly a two-possession stretch where he nailed a three as the Warriors cut the lead to 1 before following with a smooth dunk in traffic:
Killian Hayes’ first game back from suspension was more good than bad. The offense ran smoothly (thank god) with him in control as he found Duren for a number of easy buckets and finished with 12 assists.
He struggled shooting the ball — hitting just 3 of 12 shots for 9 points — but overall slid right back in as the steadying presence this offense needs.
It wasn’t a great game for Bey, who shot 6-of-17 from the field, but he and Alec Burks combined for 32 points off the bench.
For the Warriors, the question coming in was could they get enough from their role players to support Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole, who scored 30 and 24 points, respectively.
They could not.
Anthony Lamb, an undrafted forward who was briefly with Detroit in training camp back in 2020, looked like a man with an agenda against the Pistons in the first half.
Lamb knocked down three triples, confidently hunting shots against Detroit’s leaky 3-point defense. He scored 14 of his 17 points in the first half. It was a classic “who the heck is this guy?” moment.
Ty Jerome, another “this guy is in the NBA” role player for the Warriors, scored 18 for Golden State off the bench. Luckily for Detroit, neither could keep it up in the second half as they found a way to fend off the Warriors’ stars for a much-needed, bounce-back win.
If you’re still up — or if you’re reading this over your morning coffee — let us know your thoughts in the comments!